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How to Determine Auto Restoration Authenticity

You can't count on your car being original. The older a car is, the more likely that it's been modified, even if only in the course of normal maintenance and repairs. It may even have been restored. Did the previous owner correctly perform the restoration? It's possible that a previous owner may have modified a part or botched the research.

The best advice we can give you is to join the club. There is an owners' club for just about every car ever made. Join one appropriate for your make and model classic and, typically, you will be able to obtain shop manuals and restoration guides for that specific automobile. You'll be able to meet and talk with club historians and single-car experts with a wealth of knowledge and experience that they are usually happy to share.

In addition to the marquee- and model-specific car owners' clubs, there are generalist clubs that offer a wealth of information to members. For example, the huge Antique Automobile Club of America in Hershey, Pennsylvania has great judging standards and they make copies of those rules available to members.

You can reach the AACA and find club lists from a number of books, such as the Hemmings Auto Almanac, or at a number of web sites including hemmings.com, myclassiccar.com, and autotraderclassics.com.